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Marengo QB Josh Holst waits and hopes for more scholarship offers

Marengo’s Josh Holst throws the ball during summer football practice Monday, June 27, 2022, at Marengo Community High School in Marengo.

MARENGO – Among all of Marengo quarterback Josh Holst’s qualities, one that can really benefit him in the coming months is patience.

It will help Holst when a play breaks down and he can use his speed to buy time and find an open receiver.

It also will aid Holst in his college recruitment, which is picking up as he prepares for his senior season with the Indians. At this point, Holst has one NCAA Division I offer (Butler) and three from D-II schools (Bemidji State, Upper Iowa and Winona State).

Butler plays in the Pioneer Football League, an FCS conference that does not give football scholarships. Holst has a one-day camp next week at Illinois State and could attend another one at South Dakota later this month.

Holst, a 6-foot-4, 178-pound three-sport athlete, is in no hurry to make his decision. He wants to let the process progress and see what transpires.

“I could go through the whole season before making [a decision],” Holst said. “The 2023 [quarterback] class is loaded. All these schools I’ve been talking to have commits [at quarterback]. If I end up with what I have now, I’ll be grateful for it and I’ll go where I like out of those schools, but I believe I have the skill set to play at FCS, maybe even mid-FBS level. That was always my dream.”

Holst has put up sparkling numbers in his past two seasons with the Indians. He even became the Indians’ starting quarterback at the end of his freshman season and started two playoff games.

Marengo’s Josh Holst takes a break during summer football practice Monday, June 27, 2022, at Marengo Community High School in Marengo.

Holst completed 68.1% of his throws for 2,005 yards with 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season and was picked to the Northwest Herald All-Area second team. The Indians were 5-5 and lost to eventual state champion Joliet Catholic in the Class 4A playoffs opener. He rushed for 394 yards and five touchdowns.

As a junior, in an abbreviated six-game spring season, Holst completed 64.5% for 1,011 yards with 12 touchdowns and three picks. He also rushed for 322 yards and four scores.

Holst knows the offense forward and backward and, as a Class 2A state qualifier in the 100 meters, can threaten defenses with his speed, either running or scrambling to make a play.

“He manages and runs the offense, gets guys in the right spots,” Indians coach Paul Forsythe said. “He makes all sorts of throws. He can run, throw on the run. Second-chance throws I call them, where he runs and scrambles, we were really good at that last year.”

Holst has worked for two years with Greg Holcomb, a quarterback trainer at Next Level Athletix in the St. Charles area. Holcomb strives to teach his players skills and fundamentals, as well as mental parts of the game.

“I feel like I’m really smart at the position. I know what I’m doing,” Holst said. “I also feel like I can extend the plays and get extra time and make something happen out of nothing.

“I feel like I’m good with the basics. What I need to work on is staying in the pocket more and just sitting in there waiting for that one read.”

Holst has a lot of qualities that make him attractive to college coaches. He has been high on some D-I schools’ lists but has been their No. 2, which is why he does not have more offers.

So he keeps working and waiting.

“Here’s what I tell any kid in his situation: Make yourself the best player and teammate you can possibly make yourself,” Forsythe said. “All that other stuff will sort itself out. Worrying about this or that, you can’t control. Make yourself the best player and teammate you can make yourself.

“He’s focused on us and going forward into the season and what we’re trying to do. He’s been working hard in the weight room and doing a lot of one-day camps.”